The Federal Inland Revenue Service recently announced a stamp duty payment by tenants. It is indeed another form of financial burden, this time around to be charged on tenants.
It is said to be 0.07% of stamp duty charges on tenants’ annual rentals. It is however not clear if such payments are to be deducted as soon as it gets to the Landlord or it’s going be a burden transferred by Landlord to Tenants. Knowing how providers of goods and services transfer the burden to consumers of such goods and services in Nigeria, it is very clear that there is going to be a spike in house rents across the board by landlords in Nigeria.
Granting the fact that there is never a convenient time to effect tax increment, the COVID 19 pandemic has invariably helped to increase the tax burden on Nigerians.
Although the Federal Government is in dire need of money to run Nigeria’s ailing economy in the face of impending economic recession, the priority of Government should be to work hard in order to put more money in the pockets of its citizens, rather than attempt to siphon same through taxation, which indeed adds to the financial burden of the citizenry.
Where a National Assembly and other top echelons of Government engage in massive and unbridled corruption, the idea of taxing tenants in the face of COVID 19 pandemic is never suitable to the ears.
Some states are yet to meet up with the minimum wage of the N30,000.00 pre-COVID era, while some States currently engage in slashing of workers’ salaries which they attributed to the pandemic.
Whatever reason is behind the activation of stamp duty act on the tenant, which is considered constitutional, that in itself is burdensome in the face of a ravaging pandemic and endemic corruption in high places which the administration of President Buhari is currently battling.
At a time like this, the Government should rather consider plucking every available loophole, which will indeed free and make more resources available for the Government rather than places the people on the yoke of increased financial burden in the face of a ravaging pandemic.